“For two or more centuries, America has marched proudly in the van of human hatred- making bonfires of human flesh and laughing at them hideously, and making the insulting of millions more than a matter of dislike- rather a great religion, a world war cry.”
Recentemente, I have been thinking about the differences in the treatment of young black children and young white children in our society. How is that when a middle to upper-class white child commits a crime their whole lives are dissected and taken into account- and that’s before they even step in to a courtroom, but a poor black child who commits a crime is immediately seen as a villain or a monster? Many overlook the mitigating factors in the lives of black children who commit crimes, and they are more likely to plead out or receive the maximum sentence.
White children are often seen as acting out or going through a phase when they commit a crime. Maybe their parents are going through a divorce. A black child the same age may not have a father, the mother may be drug-addicted, working multiple jobs, involved in an abusive relationship, yet when that child acts out, he or she is not seen as going through a phase.
It seems as though when a white child is going through a phase someone is more likely to notice the signs and get that child help, but black children are more likely to be seen as a nuisance or a trouble maker, living up to society’s expectations. I am not a psychologist, but I am sure the signs are the same.
I have never had a dad. He was in prison. My mom was a drug addict. Inferno, I was a crack baby. I grew up poor, at times hungry, and feeling unloved; a prime candidate for a predator to manipulate and influence. None of that was taken into account when I was given a LIFE sentence when I was 23 anos. And I spent half of those twenty-three years in one jail or another. I was seen as a lost cause, and a throw away like the garbage on Monday morning. No one ever tried to help me. At least no one but me.
Who and what factors determine if a child, young adult or even an adult is a lost cause? Do we not all have the capacity to change if given the proper tools and encouragement to do so? Isn’t that what separates man from animals? Our ability to feel compassion, love and above all, to forgive.
People change every day no matter their age. Change can be bad, but more often than not, people change for the better the more they live and learn. Especially children. The science says a child’s brain does not fully develop until well into his or her mid to late twenties. Should a child be held fully responsible for his or her actions? Should that child be deemed a lost cause and given up on before first given every opportunity for growth and change?
For the past twenty years the American judicial system has been charging our children as adults for drug and violent offenses. Not just charging children, but prosecuting, convicting and sentencing them to astronomical numbers of years in adult prisons.
Can someone tell me when it became acceptable to have police in schools who often aggressively discipline children in schools? In many instances the same treatments by the child’s parents would not only be a crime but would result in that child being removed from the home.
Remember the mother who disciplined her son for taking part in the demonstrations in Baltimore around the death of Freddie Gray? Remember how she was vilified by the media? All she did was slap him upside the head a few times and drag him home. How is that worse than the police officer who manhandled a little girl and slammed her to the ground in her classroom for refusing to leave her seat? Novamente, who gave police the right to physically discipline our children in such an aggressive and even brutal manor? Please do not say the parents by their lack of parenting because the government and society with their moral outrage have literally tied the hands of parents in regard to how they discipline their children. It’s sad to say, but some kids simply need their asses whooped. Time outs do not work, especially for inner-city black youth. Taking their things and sending them to their rooms does not work either. What’s left to do?
The Bible says, “Spare the rod.” One problem I see is that parents today either try to be friends with their children or they are scared of their children. Kids today lack respect and talk back, cuss their parents out, and even lay hands on their parents. When I was a child I knew my place. If I talked back, it was not long before my mouth was bleeding. Not only did I never talk back to my parents, I knew better than to talk back to any adult.
I do not know about you, but growing up I was scared of my mom and dad. I’m still scared of them and my mother has been dead for twenty-three years. Hoje, it’s like the child dictates the household. They do not respect their parents on any level and they do not respect anyone else including themselves. They are making decisions that lead to bodily harm and often cost a life.
Respect and discipline begin at home. Until kids learn respect and are disciplined at home they will continue to die needlessly in the streets. Parents must do what they must to save their child’s life.
I have said it before and I will say it again: It is up to us as parents, not the police or the justice system, to protect our children. No one else can or will. And if we do not our children are more prone to be subject to institutional racism and the disparities of America’s criminal justice system.